Wheal Betsy Engine House on Dartmoor at Sunrise
I left for Dartmoor around 5:45am not really knowing what to expect weather wise except that there was a little bit of snow and that it was cold. My plan for the morning’s shoot was to visit Wheal Betsy and then head towards Staple Tor and then Wistman’s Wood. As I headed closer to Dartmoor I could see that there had been a little bit more snow over night but it was drivable without too much trouble. I was however worried about heading down the little lane to Wheal Betsy! Thankfully I got in and out without any real issue, but I definitely need a 4 wheel drive vehicle soon.
This is a photo of Wheal Betsy as the sun broke the horizon. I loved taking photos of the last remaining engine house on Dartmoor. I do need to go back though, ideally with a tilt and shift lens. The tower leaning is quite a sight, and I can’t wait to go back.
I ended up spending a few hours photographing the old engine house and the weather seemed quite calm. It was only when I parked up at the bottom of Staple Tor to warm up with a cup of coffee that I realised just how sheltered I had been in the valley. The wind was literally rocking the car! Because of this I decided to not hike up to the tor as shooting would have been pointless in such wind, so I headed towards Wistman’s Wood.
As I approached Two bridges I spotted a car stuck on the hill and some nice chaps with 4 wheel drive vehicles trying to get them up the hill, although they couldn’t find where to hitch a tow rope. I lent a hand and carried on my way down the hill. The wind was causing drifts through the gateways onto the road, it was actually quite picturesque. Two bridges was chaos. There were large campers, vans and a number of cars stuck all over the place. I parked up after threading my way through and was going to head to the wood. On speaking to another photographer who said that the hill the other way was worse than the one that came down I decided to abandon the wood for the day. I figured that the wind would make sharp photos of the trees almost impossible, which is a shame as it is a location that I have been dying to get to for ages.
After that entire debacle I went back to Staple Tor to take photos in the little valley that runs up the side of the tor, taking photos of the stream and the trees. Overall it was a good morning out with my camera although I am tired now!